Chemistry is a crucial element in enabling the energy transition and combating climate change. To combat negative impacts on climate, we will need to work together to develop effective solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Chemistry innovates products and technologies that help enable climate solutions (see box below). Due to chemicals’ extensive use in a wide range of products across nearly all industries, reducing emissions in our products and operations has beneficial downstream effects for our customers.
At the same time, we recognize that chemical manufacturing is an energy-intensive industry.
Meaningful emissions reduction will require a portfolio of technologies and approaches; there is no one-size-fits-all solution. As an industry, ACC member are rising to the challenge:
- Investing in, developing and deploying innovative lower-emissions technologies for the manufacturing sector to enable continued, accelerated emissions reduction.
- Taking action to reduce the industrial GHG intensity of supply chains, operations and products and deploying commercially available solutions to reduce emissions
- Holding ourselves accountable by publicly reporting progress on our efforts to reduce emissions.
We know there is more to do. Reducing emissions will require acceleration of technology investment, development and deployment by the private and public sectors and other stakeholders. Chemical industry scientists at ACC member companies are developing new emission reduction technologies and clean energy alternatives to help safeguard the environment and people around the world.
Chemistry Products & Technologies Enable Climate Solutions
Many energy efficient, renewable energy and innovative lower-emissions solutions and technologies are enabled by chemistry. From lithium-ion batteries to solar cells and wind turbines, from energy-efficient insulation and windows to lightweight materials for fuel efficient cars and automobiles, chemistry—and the facilities that produce chemistry—are guiding the way forward.
- In automotive design, plastics have contributed to a multitude of innovations in safety, performance and fuel efficiency. Today’s plastics make up around 50 percent of the volume of new cars, but typically only 10 percent of the weight, helping to make cars lighter and more fuel-efficient.
- High-performance building insulation, sealants and wraps help save energy in our homes, offices and factories. Building insulation can save up to 40 times the energy used to create it, while plastic house wrap technology can reduce infiltration of outside air into homes by 10 to 50 percent, helping to dramatically reduce the energy necessary for home heating or cooling.
- Polymers and composite materials used in glass and carbon-reinforced fiber for wind turbines save approximately 123 units of GHGs for every unit emitted to make them.
- Expanded use of LED lighting can cut global energy demand – residential LEDs have been found to use at least 75 percent less energy, and last up to 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.
ACC Member Contributions to Reducing Emissions and Energy Use
ACC member companies develop products and technologies that protect our climate through a variety of energy-saving and renewable applications: